I was talking to my friend in the States on Monday and he was telling me that he had already voted as part of an early (but not often) voting system. He also mentioned that at his church the previous day, Philip Yancey, author of various books including "Disappointed With God", had been preaching. In his sermon, Yancey warned anyone who might be devastated at the result of the impending Presidential election that, if they were that perhaps was a sign that they were building their house on the sand (Matthew 7:26). We haven't heard too much about those who were devastated at the eventual result (apart from those who shamelessly and outrageously booed when McCain was making a congratulatory speech about Obama), but a lot about the hope and expectation that people have in the light of Senor Obama's election. It made me think that even those who were jubilant could be doing some dodgy sand building and that, as Christians, we need to have a constant perspective that it is God who is in control of Mr Obama's little land and our little world. It is God who put him there and God to whom he is accountable, so we should pray for him as he takes on this huge task, even with the optimism and hope associated with his election.
One other thought is the encouragement that has come with the news that a major factor in the election was the number of first time and young voters who came out; surveys suggest that over 52% of voters aged under 30 voted, and having a big impact on the eventual result. The Wall Street Journal quote Eric Greenberg on how the Millenial Generation was "flexing their activism"; "The election of Senator Obama was the first step in the Generation We Revolution. The election results fit squarely with their thoughts and sentiments of dissatisfaction and the need for change. Obama is an icon for this. He represented the embodiment of their ethos for hope and optimism. Moreover, this election, for the youth, was their first salvo in flexing their activist muscle and restoring their damaged American Dream". (Update - see this & I'm sure there will be lots more in the weeks to come!)
Dr Sharky approves. We need young people to take seriously their civic responsibilities, but also to enable them to play their part in the church, which is something that is giving some cause for excitement in the Presbyterian Church as they anticipate SPUD, their youth assembly in the new year.
(See Alan Reifmann's Emering Adult Blog for more thoughts on this)